Tuesday, February 3, 2009

FPL customers struggle to pay bills, deposits

Today's story in the Miami Herald should erase any doubt about whether or not FPL is going to share the public's pain in the midst of the economic downturn.

On the contrary, despite record profits FPL is cracking down on customers struggling to stay current with their ever-rising monthly electricity bill:
Late payers can expect a demand from FPL that they make large deposits, have payments deducted from their bank accounts or have a third-party guarantee payment. FPL says it is following prudent business practices using steps approved by state regulators. FPL earned $789 million last year, down from $836 million in 2007, a drop attributed mostly to the economic slowdown.

FPL's moves have angered some customers. Complaints to state regulators are up 20 percent this year; FPL would not provide exact numbers of affected customers but spokesman Mayco VillafaƱa said any customer ''who develops a late payment or nonpayment history'' is asked for a deposit. The company disconnects customers only as a last resort, he said -- only after a series of warnings by mail, phone and/or e-mail.
Read the full Herald story online, here.

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